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DarthFoul ADMIN April 5, 2008
Jean Le. Not Dead. Greatest Hoax Ever Told:


Title Author Replies Last Replier Latest Post
Have You Seen Him? JOE MARINARO 2 donshyjossy 7 years ago
what happened to the old group? JOE MARINARO 1 DarthFoul 10 years ago

Group Description

Jean Le, Wicker Park's favorite dancing man. He puts the "hot" in hot pants!

Today I perpetrated a rather lame April Fools Day prank: I faked my own death. By which I mean, I placed a memorial photo on my Flickr page with false details of my demise. There wasn't a whole lot of commitment to this joke. It was just a one-off gag I did for my own amusement because it was April 1. I wasn't expecting anyone to buy into it, obviously. And really, no one did. I also learned today that if you want to fake your own death, you need commitment. You can't just put up a memorial and stay out of site for a day. No, you have to really, really, really make the fiction come alive. Such is the case with one Jean Le.

Several months ago, I blogged/photoblogged about the untimely death of one Jean Le -- MC, performer, local eccentric and "Asian Dancing Man of Wicker Park". The details of his death were unclear (something to do with drugs and/or depression), the postings on his Myspace page were cryptic at best, but all those in the know were atwitter with the news. Wicker Park (or as I like to call it, Lincoln Park West) lost one of it's last truly great, truly original characters. Or did it?

Reports of Jean Le's death may have been greatly exaggerated.

Earlier today I received a link from my dear friend Jasmine. It was a New York Times online articles titled "36 Hours in Berkeley, Calif."
and contained a picture of an eerily familiar face.

Now, contrary to popular racist belief, Asian guys do not all look alike. This picture is unquestionably one Jean Le. But my next question was: When was this shot taken? I mean, it seems likely that Jean could have spent time in Berkeley. I've heard he was from there. Isn't it completely possible that this was an old photo, maybe one pre-December?

There was only one way to find out. I contacted the photographer directly (again, Jasmine's idea). I explained, via email, who Jean was (quirky hipster musician eccentric type) and how he was supposedly dead. That all this came about in late December and was this photo taken some time before the end of 2007? I really didn't expect to hear back from him, but to my surprise he wrote back in an hour and said:

"Funny, you are the second person to check on his identity. I don't have an ID on the guy since he blew by and was half a block a way before I knew it. It was shot on Feb 13, 2008."

I was shocked, but not all too surprised to find this out. I didn't (don't) know Jean personally, but faking his own death seems like something he'd do.

Now the question is "Why would he do this?" To escape a clingy ex-girlfriend? To get out of an apartment lease? To completely and totally fuck with people? My guess would be the latter. Perhaps he had already planned on moving out of Chicago and decided that it would be pretty hilarious fake out an entire city. Well it worked. Not since Elvis Presley has someone so convincingly faked his own death.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. Jean could very well be dead. The person in that Times article might very well not be Jean Le. But I ask you: How many long-haired, skate-boarding, short-short wearing Korean guys do you think there are in the world? I know it's the Bay Area, but come on!

Compare the photo from the Times with the ones I've taken and tell me in all honesty that it is not the same person:

Seoul Man #1
Seoul Man #2
Seoul Man #3
Seoul Man #4
Seoul Man #5
Seoul Man #6

Of course, if I am wrong (and I am 99.999999% certain I am right), my apologies to Jean's friends and family.

If my assumptions are correct, bravo to you Jean Le. You've perpetrated a pretty hilarious hoax. I hope you've made a bundle "post-mortem" off of your music, which went on sale via your Myspace page after your "death". (Staging a resurrection concert on Easter woulda been brilliant, though.)

Bravo, my friend. Bravo.


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